Once again, SGA election time has come, and once again, the voting method is a head-scratcher. If you haven’t heard, voting doesn’t happen on Tigertracks anymore. Instead, it’s been shoved to some unfathomable, separate entity, known as Tigerlink.
What the heck is Tigerlink, anyway?
The homepage has a pixilated banner of God-knows-who – I think I can make out George Jackson, but everyone else is too distorted to recognize. Even better, you get to set up a profile page, complete with a picture, which links to your Twitter or Facebook and your interests.
I feel like someone got a little too excited with the social media craze and tried to make some sort of school-run, Facebook-esque monstrosity. What’s the point?
I activated an account to vote in the SGA elections, and that’s the only reason I’d ever get on this messy website. I’m guessing a lot of other students feel the same way, as well. No one is going to come back.
What’s worse, I fear that students may not vote because they don’t want to sign up for yet another rarely useful service from Fort Hays. I spoke to one student about the election process, and he responded, “Don’t you have to sign up for some weird thing just to vote? I’m not doing that.”
Having to install the widget on Tigertracks, as in years prior, is about as extreme as the voting system should get. Anything worse than that, and you risk losing voters.
And let’s be honest, student involvement isn’t exactly on the up right now. This is the first year in a long time that we’ve even had a contested presidential election. SGA spent the whole year with vacant seats, even though, as one senator explained to me, you basically automatically get that seat if you apply.
I’m willing to bet that the voter turnout rate is abysmal. What we need is to get students more involved with the election process.
An on-campus voting booth seems like a really simple, easy-to-implement idea to increase voter awareness. If you don’t check your university email more than once a month, it’s easy to completely miss the deadline. It’s harder to miss a big ol’ voting booth, with black and gold bunting and a huge sign that says “Vote here.”
Put it in the middle of the Quad, or in the Union if it’s raining. Who’s gonna miss that? Only on-campus students are eligible to vote anyway, so the off-campus students won’t be missing out.
If you’re reading this on Thursday, there’s still time. Polling is open until 4:30. Take the time to set up a Tigerlink account: it’s a hassle, but it’s still worth it.
Apparently this is the best we’re going to get, but don’t let it discourage you from letting your voice be heard.